14 Things to Do When You Get Great PR but No Editorial Links

Public relations is now an essential part of modern SEO, but the big problem is that you don’t always get a nice editorial link with the news story. That’s disappointing, for both the agency and the client. But does it mean that SEOs should concentrate only on media sites where there is a good chance of getting an editorial link and ignore the others? Or are there other ways that SEO value can be extracted?

CitationLabs.com recently had a major PR success in getting a client featured on the front page of a national trade magazine. However, the publication does not normally link out to the companies it features in editorial stories. This is clearly a PR success however it may be not be seen as an SEO success because of the absence of that juicy editorial link.

This is a common problem when doing PR for SEO. However, even without links, an article in a leading journal brings great publicity to your client and supports its SEO activity.

Here are 14 tasks that will help extract the maximum SEO benefit from the publicity:

1. Continue to Target Leading Sites – Even If They Don’t Give You a Link

SEOs might be tempted to target only publications that they know are likely to link. This is too narrow an approach, and would mean missing out on leading industry journals and the PR coverage they can bring. If we’d done this, we would have ignored the leading journal in our PR efforts – and we would have missed the tremendous coverage we got for our client. The answer is to manage client expectations. You don’t have to deliver editorial links to bring PR success to your clients; learn what PR potential there is for all their business, not just to influence rankings.

2. Reply to Comments as Soon as They’re Published

A decent article on an industry trade magazine is likely to attract comments, so start monitoring the article as soon as it is published. Make sure your client responds as quickly as possible to any comments or questions. Your client showing interest in audience response, and that it is willing to engage, can stimulate discussion and will help their cause in the future.

3. Monitor Any Links to the Published Article

Prominent articles in industry publications will also attract links from other journalists, bloggers and experts. So look for them, contact the people who linked, thank them and offer additional information, preferably something tailored specifically to their audience. Include them in future press release mailings.

4. Link to the Media Article from Your Client’s Site

You want as many people as possible to know about your success, so make sure your client writes about the article and links to it from its own site. Make sure the client shares the article on social media and encourages others to do so, as well.

5. Expand on the Content of the Article

An article in a leading industry journal may have a 500-700 word limit and as a result, may lack detail. You can expand on the content on your own site by providing much more detail or even summarizing the responses; all this can bring further valuable links.

6. Follow up with Local Journalists and Bloggers

Local media are always interested in local companies that have attracted national attention. When you get national coverage, make sure you follow up with local journalists and bloggers. Let them know about your client’s success, the results they gained and what it means to their company. That follow-up often leads to a wave of local media coverage.

7. Publish a ‘Badge’ or Link That Says, “As Featured in…”

This will show visitors to your client’s site that it’s a trusted brand – and will also show other journalists that it’s trustworthy. Others will then be more likely to write about your client, too, increasing the likelihood of getting further coverage and links.

8. Email Your Client’s Customer Lists

Tell the customers you’ve been featured. Work in a special offer that might encourage your existing list to buy from you.

9. Pitch a Series of Guest Posts to Top Industry Blogs

Your client’s national success will make it easier to get guest posts accepted. Plan a series of blog post pitches to only the top blogs in your client’s industry. Take a long-term view of this by aiming to publish one post in a major blog every month.

10. Build on Your Relationship with the Journalist

Build on your relationship with the journalist, editor or publication that featured your client. They’ve taken a major story from you once, so they’re prime candidates for doing so again. Ask them if they have an editorial calendar, what further stories they might be interested in, and when they may be interested. Consider giving them an exclusive in the future. You may also find it useful to give them a phone call when you have something interesting to pitch.

11. Build a Store of Sound Bites or Stories

Just by working with a client on a regular basis, you’ll uncover news stories that your client didn’t even realize were newsworthy. Collect these stories and listen out for quotes that you can polish into memorable sound bites to make your pitches more attractive in the future.

12. Don’t Just Rely on Breaking News

Always remember that you don’t need to always have breaking news stories about new products or initiatives. Look for interesting human stories that you can turn into newsworthy content.

13. Build a Forward PR Plan

Plan your PR on a rolling 12-month basis; aim for one major story per month. Follow up with other news stories, both locally and nationally. Build a track record of success. The more media coverage you get for your client, the more journalists will respect your client and the more likely they’ll be to write about it.

14. Review the Content You Created

It’s always worthwhile to review your work and the results it achieved. Based on your experience, can you improve the content for your next media pitch to make an editorial link more likely?

Final Words

PR is a long term strategy and you can’t expect every story you release to bring coverage and links. However, by building up contacts one-by-one in your client’s industry, you’ll gain invaluable experience and understand the type of content that is most likely to bring you editorial links.

Homepage image via Dollar Photo Club

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